Today, I begin my fun weekend with a college ministry in Southern California. So on the blog this week, I’ve been asking the same questions that I’ll be asking for this specific ministry.

Question 4: What advice, hopes, and concerns do outside “experts” have about your ministry?

Sometimes, this question may be the hardest to answer. You’re on the “inside” of your ministry, so it’s impossible for you to have a true “outsider’s” view. And since you’re a leader, other outsiders may have a hard time giving you the real scoop.

But if you can find a way to get some great answers – anonymous surveys, really honest friends, bringing in an outsider like me, etc. – this question could be one of the most valuable ones you can ask. Other college ministers, college faculty and staff, and even some students might have simple, definitive answers for questions that you’ve labored over for awhile. And even if their answers aren’t simple, or even if they’re a mixed bag when it comes to accuracy or wisdom, their insights and perceptions could be enormously helpful in understanding the present and potential of your campus ministry.

IF you can gain a trusting relationship with other campus ministers, they’re likely to be your biggest help here. When confronted with honest questions and an open spirit, they’re likely to offer some wisdom for your ministry’s future. Will some of them avoid helping another ministry? Maybe. But for the most part, they’re going to have an expert eye (they’re some of the few who understand your vocation, right?) and an outsider’s objectivity.